Worldwide Distribution
  • Four species in Africa
  • One in Middle east and tropical Asia
Distribution in Southern Africa
General appearance:
  • Favour exposed, standing or slow-flowing water, generally with bare banks, often perch on the ground and some species are most active towards the end of the day. B. leucosticta (Red Groundling) may be found some distance away from water
  • May be found in large groups
  • B. lacustris and Trithemis kirbyi (Orange-winged Dropwing) is easy to confuse but T. kirbyi is much stockier with larger and paler pterostigmas. The amber patches on both wing does not reach the nodus.
  • B. leucosticta follow larger mammals (including humans), flying low and catching disturbed insects.
Species identification general:
  • B. lacustris, Red Groundling mature males are entirely red with the basal two-fifths of the wings deep amber. Mostly inhabits rivers, often assembling in large groups on vegetation overhanging the water, but also perch on rocks. May be found at lakes.
  • B wilsoni, Swamp Groundling wings orange to dark amber at base, without dark postnodal bands. Abdomen brownish red
  • B. leucosticta Southern Banded Groundling mature males of are dark brown/black with distinctive bands on all wings. Immature males and females looks alike but the males develop the wing bans before the body darken with age.
  • B. impartita  Northern Banded Groundling wings clear at base, but develop dark brown band between node and Pterostigmas. Distinguish from B. leucosticta primarily by range For more detail refer to the ADDO description


  • Males only shown. To view females follow the link to the description page 
  • Click on species name will link to the main species description article and image gallery.
Images of the four African species